In October 2004, I had a call from a small company which was (still is) co-operating with a big one. The guy on the phone told me that my illustrations were perfect for them and their products. That I was a mother, living in the southern part of Sweden and even my age was further to my advantage. He wanted me to promote my illustrations for the manager of the big company. This I did – and the manager agreed with the first guy.
I made them an offer. I sent them a pdf with illustrations from my portfolio applicated on some of their products. They wanted my illustrations so bad, they even asked me to write a letter to the former owner/manager to promote me and my illustrations (he still was in power).
They requested an estimate for display material, ads a.s.o. They told me the commission was mine as soon as the former owner/manager and the financial manager had given their thumbs up.
Then the financial manager gave me a call and wanted me to explain the offer I had made for them. So I did.
The manager called and wanted me to send them 15-17 pages with sketches. I told him I don't work for free because I'm a professional. "Well, you're not, since the other two have made a lot of sketches and they have at least 10 years in the business, and they do it for free." he answered.
Other two? When I had asked them they said there where only one, and they didn't like his illustration style at all.
1. I could give them sketches and lose (my pride).
2. I could give them sketches and win. At that time they could have chosen me in the first place, so I didn't really belived in that one.
I sent them an invoice of the time I've spent on phone, writing letters yada yada yada and I offered them the same amount as a discount if I was commissioned. If they really wanted my illustrations they would pay the invoice. The day after they gave me a call and yelled at me on the phone.
All this was during two months and the deadline was getting closer. So, since the commission was mine (duh!), I started to make sketches they could have had if they had paid for them. But they didn't. The client didn't reject my work. I rejected the client.
Btw: they didn't pay the invoice.